Moscow – US President Donald Trump, unintentionally, provoked the public in Moscow against Dmitry Kiselyov, head of Russia’s state-run news agency Rossiya Segodnya, also known as the Kremlin’s chief propagandist, which lead to a confrontation in the media between Kiselyov, the prominent news anchor and a member from the Russian Parliament.
These protests corresponded with reports saying that the Kremlin has called the official media to stop the direct praising of Trump. These developments came following a clear Russian disappointment over Trump, and his unfulfilled electoral promises to nationalize relations with Russia, consider the admission of Crimea as a part of Russia, and cooperate with Moscow to combat terrorism in Syria.
One month after Trump’s admittance in the White House, the Russian tonality towards him has gradually switched from optimism to skepticism. Frustration led some parties to express their discontentment from the Russian media coverage of Trump’s
activities, from the electoral race till winning the presidency.
Members from the Russian Liberation Movement organized protests on the doors of Rossiya Segodnya Agency, the RBK Daily reported. According to BBC reporter on Twitter protestors left signs on which they wrote “No for Trump’s praising in our media outlets”, “Kiselyov, you are obsessed with Trump” – reports said that these protests were organized by State Duma deputy Yevgeny Fyodorov.
Commenting on protests, the Kommersant newspaper said that the public dispute between news anchor Dmitry Kiselyov and State Duma deputy Yevgeny Fyodorov suggests divisions among the authority’s supporting alliance. The newspaper wondered how they can dispute, while they should show a complete support for President Putin’s policies concerning the sharp criticisms against the United States and the White Houses’ foreign policy.
Kommersant noted that Kiselyov’s response on Fyodorov’s followers’ accusations came out immediately. The Russian news anchor considered the Russian Liberation Movement’s chief an “imprudent politician” – during his program on 19 November, he said that in Russia, they deal tolerantly with imprudent politicians who try to confuse people and to impose a stupid debate by using smart expressions.
These expressions provoked Fyodorov, who in turn, threatened Kiselyov of dragging him to a judicial battle waged on behalf of thousands Russian Liberation Movement’s followers who felt insulted – Kommersant reported that the State Duma Deputy also accused the news anchor of preparing a plot targeting President Putin to support the president of another country, pointing to Donald Trump.
The newspaper said the one-camp members’ dispute was caused by Kiselyov’s position from the statements launched by White House press secretary Sean Spicer in which he said that President Trump expects Russia to calm the Ukrainian conflict and to return Crimea.
The newspaper says that the Russian media that was well-disposed with Trump stopped focusing on his news after the recent statements, but at the same time, avoid criticizing Trump as Kiselyov used to do with Obama. This avoidance angered Fyodorov’s followers, who organized protests against the news anchor.
Russian media outlets quoted Bloomberg stating that the Kremlin requested governmental media outlets to stop praising trump.
RBK said that according to Bloomberg’s sources, the Kremlin’s directives were driven by a growing concern amid Russian authorities from the Washington’s policy toward Moscow, which may not be friendly as was expected when Trump won his campaign.
RBK also said that it sought to hear comments from major governmental media outlets on this matter, but it didn’t get response except from Russia Today, which made a very sarcastic comment.